Sex and Gender Inequality
Sex and Gender Inequality ISS 215
Popular in Social Difference and Inequality
Popular in Social Sciences
This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lauren Vance on Thursday October 1, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ISS 215 at Michigan State University taught by Dr. Kelly in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 79 views. For similar materials see Social Difference and Inequality in Social Sciences at Michigan State University.
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Date Created: 10/01/15
(*****all notes contributed to Charles E. Hurst) Sex and Gender Inequality The Status of Women in the Early United States - cultural norms of the time: • women should be good wives and mothers • women should be involved in raising livestock, weaving, gardening, and running businesses • unmarried and widowed women were hired domestic workers - women made valuable contributions to local economies, but were deprived of many political-legal, economic, and personal rights accorded men - a women’s identity was deﬁned by her relationship to her husband and children • wife beating was common - women contributed to the development of the ﬁrst signiﬁcant industrial organizations in the U.S. - the ﬁrst textile factories were built in 1800 in Rhode Island and Massachusetts • recruited unmarried women from New England to work in the factories - Factory Conditions: • bad conditions • average 13 hour work days • 73 hours of work a week (including 8 hours on Saturdays) • women mill workers were paid $1.85-$3.00 per week (with $1.25 being deducted for room and board) • female workers were only paid half what men were - jobs in early factories were sex segregated • men held supervisory positions, jobs in the mill yard, watch force, and repair shop • women were restricted to jobs operating equipment such as looms and dressing machines - men were concerned about the entrance of women into the labor market because they were worried about their wages being cut down - 1830’s & 1840’s: women held strikes to protest reductions in their wages, speedups inn work page, and increased amount of hours - between the Civil War and the 1900’s, the percentage of females in the workforce increased - 1900 • women: housekeepers, stewards, nurses, midwives, dress makers, milliners, seamstresses, teachers - women composed over 70% of teachers and college professors - black females were more likely to be wage earners - white females dominated the higher status professions (lawyers and professors) - white females made up less than 30% of servants, tailors, launderers, and textile mill positions • men: agriculture, common labor, bookkeeping, clerk/copyist, watch and shoemaker, printer, dye works, and photography positions Balancing Work and Home - 2009: Black, Hispanic, and White women all participated in the labor force at roughly equal rates - increased participation of women in the labor force has been inﬂuenced by: • shift toward a service and information based economy • increased possibilities for ﬂexibility in work schedule lower marital stability • • a greater need for dual-earner families - in working-class and low-class families, the income brought into households by women is necessary - in middle-class families, a college-educated wife is likely to work because her education allows her to receive a good salary - 2007: wives accounted for 36% if their families incomes, over 26% earned more than their husbands - it’s women who are most responsible for cooking, cleaning, shopping, and child care - in dual-career professional families, when the husband works increasingly long hours, the chances of his wife quitting her job increases as well - the traditional gender roles of men at work and women at home are usually reinforced - women’s contribution to housework does decrease as they earn more, and the housework done by the husbands increases - women are expected to contribute to the role as “caregiver” and care for their children and their elderly parents - mothers who work full-time value motherhood less than those who do not work, which could be due to the unfriendly conditions that working mothers encounter in the workplace Sex Segregation in Occupations - how occupational inequalities between men and women in the workplace are distributed: • across broad occupational categories among detailed occupations • • among speciﬁc occupations within speciﬁc organizational contexts - women tend to be concentrated in white-collar and service occupations, while men are more spread out throughout the occupational spectrum - white women are more likely to be managers or professionals - Black and Hispanic women are more likely to be found in service and blue-collar production positions - a decline in occupational segregation has occurred in broad occupational categories, because of shifts in technology and organizational structure - as far back as 1870, women dominated in servant, clothing, certain kinds of teaching, and nursing occupations - “feminine” or “motherly” characteristics include being able to work directly with people and to take care of others - men’s characteristics include labor or physical attributes, often contain an element of danger, involved work with a product rather than a person, and demand technical or scientiﬁc skill - many of the occupations dominated by women do not have the protections given by most positions • ex.: nannies/maids get low pay, work long hours, have few legal protections, and often get harassed - within speciﬁc organizational contexts in the private economy, occupational segregation is magniﬁed • women tend to have less authority and different job titles, and make less money than men do - it is difﬁcult for women to obtain positions of authority, but if they do, a variety of gender-related pressures make it hard for them to retain or want to stay in the position • this results in women moving to less-prestigious, less-authoritative, and lower- earning positions in smaller ﬁrms - women are more likely to be found in the peripheral sector than in the core sector of the economy the peripheral sector is made up of small, less stable, local, non humanized • organizations that lack a clear career ladder • the core sector is made up of larger, stable, multi market, unionized organizations with career systems - when women are put in unusual positions of authority, they are watched closely and under great pressure to perform because they are seen as “tokens” - the number of businesses owned by women has increases signiﬁcantly since the 1970’s, and so have their revenues 7.7 million businesses are owned by women (2006) • - cultural values have encouraged men and women into certain kinds of occupations - choices women make about jobs and their work at home are conditioned by broader labor-market discrimination - labor-market opportunities affect the role and amount of time spent in home labor by men and women - barriers that have prevented women from obtaining more well-paying occupations: • less access to training and apprenticeship • appointment to perceived gender-related tasks • patrimonial relationships with males in authority positions less access to information about job openings • • less fully developed job and contact network • seniority systems that limit women • protective laws inhibiting women from pursing certain positions and restricting the number of hours and time of day they could work • pressure on women to take on the bulk of family obligations • tendency for coworkers or clients to prefer employees of matching sex • stereotyping, discrimination, and the consequent crowding of women into certain kinds of positions • lack of internal mobility ladder for many so-called female occupations within organizations • prevalence of informal recruitment practices - factors that limit the number of women in high-level supervisory or executive positions: • social capital of men and women is different - women receive most of their information about job openings from other women —> women don’t have access to as much information as men about high-level positions • women who occupy executive or high authority positions feel pressure to be extra tough about letting other women move up so they can show they have “what it takes” to make hard decisions - they have to adapt to masculine tendencies to maintain credibility among their male colleagues • women usually don’t receive support from the opposite sex, when in male dominated positions - the development of new forms of work resulting from broad economic changes and white-collar service employment, loosens the grip of sex segregation Earnings and Gender - in occupational distribution there are signiﬁcant earning differences between men and women - post 1970s decline in the wage gender gap - gender differences in wages vary by race and ethnicity - increase in earnings among White women have been much higher in the last 20 years than those for minority women - greater occupational specialization among Whites has been suggested as one possible reason for this difference - differences in human capital (experiences, skills) may continue to account partly for the earnings gap - domestic work, especially child care, negatively affects women’s earnings signiﬁcantly more than men’s - earnings tend to be lower in those jobs in which the sexes are most segregated - within occupational categories, women are less likely to be in positions of authority and to be given distinct kinds of tasks - most of the differences in compensation that existed between male and female executives were due not only to women being in smaller ﬁrms, but also to the fact that they were less likely than high-ranking male executives to be heads of their companies - a factor in accounting for the earnings gap, the crowding of women into speciﬁc kinds of jobs - female-dominant jobs yield lower earnings, even when men are in those jobs - occupational, job, and organizational factors play signiﬁcant roles in explaining earnings discrepancies - salary and wage levels are based in part on: • subjective assessments of job performance • how bosses interpret worker behavior (important factor in determining the earnings workers receive) - a slightly smaller percentage of employed women than employed men belong to unions, and union members consistently have had higher median earnings than nonunion workers - the gender gap has been declining in size in recent years - Immediate factors that have increased annual earnings among women in working- class occupations are an increase in the number of wives who work and an increase in the number of hours worked by women - since 2000, slower wage growth rate for men due to declines in the economic power of unions along with declines in and movement abroad of manufacturing and other jobs Microinequities in the Treatment of Women - sexual harassment on the job is one of the areas that demonstrates this inequitable treatment - microinequities: ways in which individuals are either singled out, or overlooked, ignored, or otherwise discounted on the basis of unchangeable characteristics such as sex, race, or age - microinequities usually take the form of different kinds of language, treatment, or behavior exhibited toward women on a regular basis - inequities are often deeply rooted and seemingly unconscious • ex.: young boys rarely think about the everyday difﬁculties of being a woman and are not fully aware of the consequences that ﬂow from their often unique experiences - sexism can sometimes be unnoticed and unintentional, as in instances when a person uses sexist language and does not know • she: when describing nurses he: when describing doctors • - unintentional gender stereotypes - women who marry have been expected to give up their surnames and take on that of their new husbands - styles of speaking and communication are often different between the genders, reﬂecting their social positions in society - United States continue to associate particular characteristics with women rather than men - consistent with media images, women are much more likely than men to be viewed as emotional, affectionate, talkative, patient, and creative - within schools, sex and gender biases remain signiﬁcant - women’s activities in education have not been taken as seriously as men’s is evident in the history of women’s athletics - ambitious women are still not accepted at the top and, no matter what their achievements, they still have to endure the worst personal insults and struggle without end against virtually insuperable obstacles to their having real power - problems that women face in U.S. society: • chivalry - treats women in an overly protective manny and encourages the image of them as non-adults • encouraging women to be ambitious and active but then creating blockages that make it difﬁcult for them to perform effectively • forms of humor and suggestion - on the surface may appear as innocuous but they are actually demeaning and embarrassing • treating women as objects - as sex symbols or as status objects • devaluating the talents and abilities of women and focusing on stereotypical or superﬁcial characteristics to honor them • overloading or overburdening women in their tasks or jobs under the guise of allowing them full participation or equality with me • “benevolent exploitation” in which women are exploited in an often unnoticed manner - showcasing token women, using their talents and then not giving them appropriate credit • portraying dominant males as considerate and concerned with the welfare of women • socially and physically isolating women in professional settings Lecture Notes: Sex vs. Gender - sex: the biological differences between males and females - gender: the social and cultural patterns attached to men and women Biological Bases of Sex - chromosomal and reproductive differences - hormones - biological differences between the sexes are only averages • considerable overlap • external factors (culture, class, and race inﬂuence a person’s sex) Gender as a Social Construct - gender is not a natural thing, society creates it and classiﬁes Social Bases of Gender - gender is a social construction masquerading as a biological imperative • femininity and masculinity vary - across culture - across time - over the life course - by race, class, and sexuality - a spectrum, not binary (not black or white) - cross-cultural evidence shows a wide variation of behaviors for the sexes • division of labor Gender Inequality - gender stratiﬁcation: the hierarchical distribution of social and economic resources according to genders - women are usually given “invisible roles” - unequal access to power, resources and opportunity - women as “tokens” • watched closely when given positions of authority • under great pressure to perform Gender and Power - institutions are structured around gender - male dominance: beliefs, meanings, and placement that value men over women - patriarchy: social organizations in which men are dominant over women What Causes Gender Inequality? - gender roles approach • socialization of gender - gender structure approach • external social structures - rewarded when act like your gender Gender Role Approach: Learning Gender Gender Socialization: in the home - fathers are more likely to reinforce gender stereotyping than mothers - Androgyny: the combination of feminine and masculine characteristics • more common among girls/women than boys/men • higher levels of self-esteem and self-worth; improved health an well-being; better relationships with their parents Gender Socialization: during play - boys are more likely to play outdoors; in larger groups; in mixed-age groups; competitive games; games that last longer - boys are less likely to play in games dominated by girls Toys - boys’ toys: exploration, invention, competition, and agression - girls’ toys: Gender Socialization: formal education - curriculum - textbooks - teacher-student interactions - sports • Title IX (1972): outlawed gender roles in schools (gender based classes) - female role models Compulsory Heteronormativity - heteronormativity: a system of thought whereby heterosexuality is viewed as the normal and correct sexual orientation, and all other orientations are seen as deviant and thus marginalized - deviance: behavior that does not conform to social expectations Gender Structure Approach: Reinforcing Male Dominance - language • derogatory terms • universal terms usually exclude women - interpersonal behavior • verbal and nonverbal differences • doing gender: gender in a system of action - the Law (not on exam) • 1920: the 19th Amendment (gave women the right to vote) • 1963: Equal Pay Act (aimed to close the gender pay act) • 1972: Educational Amendments Act • 1973: Roe v. Wade • 1978: Pregnancy Discrimination Act - Politics • underrespresentation of women • 2012: 17% of US Congress Gender and Sport - competitive sports have traditionally been viewed as masculine activities - reinforces society’s views that mean are to be dominant and aggressive - females are to be passive supporters Microinequities - microinequities are ways that individuals are overlooked, ignored, singled out, discounted on the basis of unchangeable characteristics Structured Gender Inequality: The Workplace Occupational Distribution - dramatic increase in women in labor force - rates of participation and status vary by race - typically wage earners (not salaried) • sales, secretaries, and cashiers - gender segregation: men and women are stated in different jobs throughout the labor force Why does the Earnings Gap Persist? - women are concentrated in lower-paying occupations - enter the labor face at different and lower-paying levels than men - lower levels of education and less experience overall - less overtime hours - simple discrimination - gender discrimination is the largest reason for the wage gap Gender in the Global Economy - most global assembly workers are young, migrant women (either internal or transnational) • 1985-2000: more than half of the electronics production workforce
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